IMPORTANT PATIENT UPDATES

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

As of 12/18/20, there are two vaccines approved in the US for emergency use against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

At this time there is no information available regarding the use of these COVID-19 vaccines in patients with autoimmune diseases or who are immunocompromised. Despite the lack of data, the American College of Rheumatology anticipates recommending the vaccine for patients with rheumatological conditions, according to a statement released on December 21, 2020. In making this decision, the patient and the provider have to weigh the benefits vs. risks of the vaccine. In general, vaccination (preventing or reducing the severity of infection) is expected to far outweigh any risk from the vaccine. The providers at Rheumatology Associates agree with this recommendation by the American College of Rheumatology and encourage you to consider getting vaccinated.

The currently available vaccines are the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines. They have not been compared directly in a study, but each appear to be similarly effective in the clinical trials performed so far. We recommend both vaccines and do not have a preference for one versus the other.

Rheumatology Associates is not offering vaccination services against COVID-19 at this time, but please check our website frequently for new updates.

Patients may obtain the vaccine according to the distribution guidelines from The Texas Health and Human Services. As of December 28, 2020, the state of Texas is rolling out the phase 1b vaccine allocation which includes higher risk populations regardless of their work sector or status. Please note that the current list on the Texas Health and Human Services does not specifically include autoimmune diseases or immunosuppressed patients, to view the list please click here.

The State of Texas is partnering with providers and local partners to arrange the distribution. To find a local provider please click here and be sure to call ahead to see if they have vaccine supply available for you.